I hear people complaining all the time about not making or having enough money.  It drives me a little nuts because these are often the same people who just don’t see how their lifestyle is making them broke OR they see it and they don’t want to change.  My husband was suggesting to a friend the other day, “Why not hang your clothes outside to dry?” when they complained about running out of gas to run their dryer.  The response he got – “That’s too ghetto.”

I could fill blog posts all day long with tips and tricks to save people money, but the bottom line is that I cannot perform frugal lasik eye surgery. Most people see a clothesline and think, “oh that means they’re too broke to afford a dryer.”

Most people see this.

wind-power-clothesline

But this is what I see.

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Being frugal means that you don’t take the luxury of worrying about what other people will think about you.  It means driving a beater car without any payments instead of that fantastic new model for $400 a month.  It all starts with a change of perspective, not a change of income.  Income comes and goes just as quickly.

I’m working hard every day not to become a slave to my wants. Sure, I’ll always want something.  It’s human nature.  But, I can make a choice to want what I’ve already chosen.  After all, the things we want so much that we’d do anything to have often lose their value almost immediately. You only need to observe your children with their Christmas toys around the end of January to get this point.

There’s no magic bullet for getting out of debt and living with your means. It starts with the way you view yourself and your life.  I’m ok with people thinking I’m poor because the truth is- our bills are paid, we’re getting out of debt, and I never fear picking up the phone because of bill collectors (as was a common occurrence in my house growing up).

Our society is so obsessed with the appearance of wealth that it’s making us completely broke. Often the people we admire and look up to because we think they’ve got it all together are often the ones who are struggling financially and suffering because they’re living a life they can’t afford.  The best financial advice I ever heard was, “Don’t keep up with the Jones because the Jones are broke!”

What’s the best financial advice you ever received?

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